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Acetabulum Fractures Surgery

What is it?

Fractures of the acetabulum disrupt not only the bone of the hip joint socket but also the smooth bearing surface of the joint, the articular cartilage.  The hip joint requires a smooth bearing surface in order to function well.  An irregular bearing surface can lead to wear and ultimately arthritis. 


If the acetabulum fracture is nondisplaced or minimally displaced then it may be treated nonoperatively.  However, if the acetabular fracture is displaced operative treatment is considered. 


The goal of acetabular fracture surgery is to perfectly place the displaced fragments to their original position.  This is accomplished by making an incision and directly manipulating the fragment with specialized instruments.  Once the fragments are reduced to their correct position. They are held there with metal plates and screws.  There are certain circumstances when the joint surfaces cannot be restored and therefore must be replaced with a total hip replacement.


Patients remain in the hospital following acetabular fracture surgery.  Physical therapy is initiated in the hospital to facilitate mobilization.  There is a weight bearing restriction of 30 lbs. of pressure allowed on the affected side for eight weeks from the date of surgery.  Then weight bearing and strengthening the hip muscles is progressed with outpatient physical therapy.


The outcomes of acetabular fracture surgery depend on the severity of the trauma, the patient’s overall health condition and how well the fracture is put back together.  The quality of fracture reduction is the most important aspect of treatment which affects outcomes.  The majority of patients do well for many years.  Total hip replacement is an option if arthritis does develop.

Other Treatment Options

Is surgery right for you?

Is surgery right for you?

Dr. Bellino believes in providing focused care of each individual patient with a wide range of treatment options to reach the highest potential for recovery. 

Call to set up an appointment with Dr. Bellino:

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